Environmental group calls for more funding for green efforts; Democratic gubernatorial hopefuls supportive

An environmental advocacy group today called on the state Legislature to boost funding for environmental protection programs, so spending on them totals 1 percent of the state’s budget.

The Environmental League of Massachusetts said 1 percent of the state’s budget was devoted to the environment in fiscal year 2001, but the percent has dropped.

“[S]tate agencies responsible for protecting the environment are still suffering from deep budget cuts,” the group’s president, former state senator George Bachrach, said in a statement.

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“Economic growth and environmental protection are inextricably linked and we need to make sure that the agencies responsible for safeguarding our natural resources...have the tools they need to get their job done,” he added.

The Environmental League of Massachusetts released statements from the five Democratic candidates running to succeed Governor Deval Patrick supportive of increased environmental efforts.

Those candidates are Attorney General Martha Coakley, Treasurer Steven Grossman, former Medicare and Medicaid chief Donald M. Berwick, former state and federal homeland security official Juliette Kayyem and bio-pharmaceutical executive Joe Avellone.

There are also two Republicans and three independent candidates running for Corner Office.